Since the last day of serving before Christmas 2019, when food and Christmas treats were supplied to almost 130 people, the CTIPA Food Bank has become increasingly busy. For several weeks, around 30 clients with vouchers have been served and some of these were for very large families resulting in a week’s supply of food donated to an average of 90 people and their pets each week.
This CTIPA project, which started on the 6th October 2011, is managed by a separate committee and run by a team of around 30 volunteers who work in various roles, it is now over eight years since they opened the doors as an independent food bank.
Christine Gendall from CTIPA urges people to challenge misconceptions, "The aim is to provide food for those in our community who find themselves in financial crisis. A non-judgemental, sympathetic welcome is given to clients and in addition to being given food, they are signposted to organisations to help them overcome their immediate problems”.
The response from the local community is outstanding with dried and tinned food, toiletries and cleaning products being donated via boxes in local supermarkets, village stores and churches.
The area covered by the food bank is from Crowlas to Praa Sands and west to the Land's End peninsular.
Arrangements can be made to deliver supplies to those without transport who live in outlying communities.
Donations are received on Tuesday mornings between 9am -10am and clients are served on Thursdays between 9am and 12noon.
The neighbouring areas of Carbis Bay and Hayle also run independent food banks.
The CTIPA food bank is situated in small premises on Treneere Estate and has remained busy since being established.
Unfortunately, there are some misconceptions among the public with some individuals under the impression that anyone can come to the charity and receive food, but each client needs a voucher. To receive a voucher, a client needs to have been assessed as in financial crisis by a professional from one of around fifty agencies in the area. Agencies include GP's surgeries, health visitors, midwives, social workers, housing authorities, CAB, the Job Centre, schools and the woman's refuge. Clients can receive four vouchers every six months, obtaining them one at a time, preferably from the same agency. If they remain in crisis, for example due to benefit delays, an increased number of vouchers may be accepted.
Recently there has been some confusion as a new organisation has been established nearby, called Food for Families, which is a CIC (Community Interest Company), not a charity. They help anyone claiming to be in food poverty, whatever the reason, and do not use vouchers. They also open one morning a week allowing anyone to have food from their ‘best before’ stock but a donation must be made, either money or in kind. The organisation kindly helps those who attend their base, who may be entitled to vouchers, by notifying where vouchers may be obtained.
DO YOU NEED HELP?
Volunteers can be contacted in an emergency from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm on 07950 159841. Callers may not receive an immediate response if the volunteer is driving or at work – though contact will be made as soon as possible.
COULD YOU VOLUNTEER?
If you are initially available on Tuesday mornings, please contact 07950 159841 for information. Strong men to help with lifting are always welcome!
For contact information visit the CTIPA Food Bank website.